As a busy mom, you don’t have the usual time you would to clean around your house between chasing after kids, getting them fed, running them to their activities, and the other thousand things you do every day.
Cleaning can fall to the wayside, and this is especially true if you have smaller kids in the house. So, how do busy moms balance general life activities and cleaning?
There are several cleaning tips busy moms can use to help keep their home neat, tidy, and presentable while keeping up with their kids. Whether this means schedule short 15-minute bursts of cleaning, roping the kids in the helping pick up, or designating certain chores to specific days. No matter the trick, we’ll give you some time-saving tips you can incorporate into your routine below.
Tip One – Set a Schedule
You can keep yourself nicely organized by coming up with a cleaning schedule and sticking to the same schedule each week. It’s important to note that your goal here isn’t to have a spotless house, but the goal is to have a house that can be ready for guests in 15 minutes.
All you have to do to make your schedule is to put together a basic list of cleaning tasks that you want to finish on a weekly basis.
Once you have your tasks together, assign each task a day of the week that makes the most sense to complete it. At the start of nap time each day, glance at your schedule and knock out whichever chores you have listed on it.
This allows you to focus on one or two main tasks while giving yourself permission to let your other tasks slide until you reach their assigned day.
Your schedule could look like:
- Monday – Clean out the fridge, collect the trash, and plan the week’s meals
- Tuesday – Clean the bathrooms
- Wednesday – Clean the bedrooms and tackle the laundry
- Thursday – Clean the kitchen
- Friday – Dust and clean the floors
- Saturday – Catch up on any tasks you missed throughout the week
- Sunday – Rest
Tip Two – Purge Unused Belongings
Marie Kondo came about a few years ago with a book titled, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and it took the world by storm.
While it’s not entirely possible to purge everything you have with little kids around, you can purge a lot of items that don’t have a place to make it much easier to clean. After all, it’ll take less time to clean if you have fewer items to move around.
When you clean your home, and you come across something you don’t have a place for, find a dedicated spot. If you can’t, it’s time to get rid of it.
Stop hanging onto items just in case you need it, and get rid of the items that don’t bring quality to your life. Doing this will help your cleaning and organizing go faster.
Tip Three – Set Aside Daily Cleaning Blocks
Decide how much time you can afford to set aside each day and dedicated to cleaning in an uninterrupted manner. This could be 10 to 20-minutes, and you only have to do it once a day.
If you have 45-minutes when your kids go down for their naps, dedicate 20-minutes to cleaning and the other 25 to perusing something you like.
You’ll be more productive when you clean in these small blocks because you have a reward right after it. If you don’t have time for everything on your list, let it slide until the next week or to your catch up day, and don’t fret over it.
You don’t need to clean out your bathtub or scrub your floors every single week to keep them presentable.
Tip Four – Involve Your Kids
Depending on how old your kids are, you can easily get them into the action of helping you with your chores or housework by making them your little helpers.
This simple post gives you a list of chores that are age-appropriate, and it starts at age 2 and goes up to over 15. Having your kids’ help can get them in the mindset of picking up after themselves.
Involving your kids lets you do some cleaning when they’re awake and active, and this can help you knock out more on your list.
It can also instill an appreciation in your kids for all you do, and it will keep them busy for a little bit. You could even have a small reward at the end of the week if they complete all of their assigned chores.
Tip Five – Pick up Toys a Few Times a Day
Set aside five minutes or so every day for quick clean up times. You can do in once before lunch, once before dinner, and once right before you put your kids down for the night.
They can drag out a lot of toys during the day, and taking time to pick them up in small increments during the day makes it less overwhelming at night.
You can make a fun short game of up to get your kids interested. Maybe you could set up baskets for each of the kids and race to see who manages to fill them the fastest in your 10 minutes or short span.
Whatever you do, it’ll make less work for you at the end of the night or if you have to scramble before guests come over.
Tip Six – Make Your Bed Each Morning
You’re either someone who makes a point to make your bed each day, or you’re on the other end of the spectrum, and you don’t see a point in making your bed.
However, you should get in the habit of making your bed every morning because this allows you to accomplish one task straight away. Also, your bedroom is your sanctuary and tidy space that is free of sticky residue, handprints, and toys.
United States Navy Admiral William H. McCraven said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed” in his speech when he graduated.
He describes it as a very small victory, and even if you don’t get anything else accomplished that day, at least you made your bed. It can help jump start your day, and it takes all of a few minutes to complete.
Tip Seven – Skip Folding Laundry
Laundry is one chore that many people seem to despise, and it’s very time-consuming when you’re running around with your kids.
This is especially true if you run multiple loads a day to keep up with your kids, or if you put it all off onto one day. Washing and drying clothes aren’t too bad, but folding them and putting them away is terrible.
If you want to shave time off of your busy schedule, make a habit of hanging up the majority of your kid’s clothing. Not only is it much quicker and easier to organize by outfit or clothing style, but the clothes have fewer chances of getting wrinkled. It also makes it easier to pick out outfits when you’re in a rush in the morning hours.
Tip Eight – Clear the Clutter Before Bed
Waking up in the morning and spying clutter all around that you didn’t pick up before bed can start your day off as overwhelming.
After the kids go to bed each night and before you do, take 10 to 15-minutes and quickly pick up the biggest clutter you can see. You could get a clothes basket and fill it room by room.
You don’t even have to necessarily put everything away once you collect it. Simply getting it off the floor and into a basket is usually enough to make your home look much tidier.
When you wake up, you could spend a few minutes putting everything away and returning the clothes basket to its rightful place to help you accomplish the second task of the day.
Tip Nine – Have an Organizational System for Toys
Toys can be the bane of your existence if you don’t keep them organized and picked up, especially if all of your kids have their own favorites they play with.
You can regularly go through your kid’s toys and donate them or put them away to rotate back in later if they’re not ready to let go of them. Another option is to get plastic containers with lids or fabric cubes and organize them by toy type.
One container could be for legos, one for wooden blocks, one for cars, one for train sets, one for paints or art supplies, and so on.
Have your kids ask you before they drag out a specific box and have them pick up the old box if they want to move to another one. This will limit the number of toys out, and it will also make cleanup much quicker.
Tip Ten – Have a Cleaning Caddy Ready
One of the biggest drains of your time is trying to quickly gather all of your cleaning equipment and start cleaning before any of your kids interrupt, or you run out of time.
This is why it’s a good idea to have a cleaning caddy or two all set up and ready to go when you are. It could have things like floor cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, wood polish, cleaning rags, and gloves, or anything you use when you clean.
One nice thing about these caddies is that many of them come with handles that make it easy for you to pick them up and carry them from room to room.
Make sure you replenish and organize them after every use, so they’re always ready to go. You could even have a caddy for each bathroom, one for the kitchen, and one for the living room, all safely stored and ready to go.
Tip Eleven – Have a Lint Roller Handy
No matter if you have kids or pets, hair can quickly accumulate on your furniture and floor that clogs your vacuum or just doesn’t look nice.
When you clean these areas, make sure that you have a lint roller ready that you can run over your furniture, drapes, carpet, or any pet-specific areas. The lint roller will safely pull up the hair and trap it until you toss it.
One nice thing about lint rollers is that they’re relatively inexpensive, and you also get a decent amount of usage out of a single one. They’re non-toxic and safe to use around your kids and pets, and they come in a variety of sizes that allows you to tackle different areas in your home.
Tip Twelve – Stock up on Supplies
The final cleaning tip for busy moms is to make it a priority to stock up on supplies. You need at least one or two of every cleaning product you use to get your house tidy.
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting in the mood to clean and having to stop halfway through because you’re out of duster or glass cleaner.
Just make sure that you put all of your cleaning supplies in places where your kids and pets can’t easily reach them. Many of them are toxic if you don’t go with eco-friendly formulas, and you don’t want to have an accident because they got into something they shouldn’t have.
These 12 cleaning tips for busy moms will help you bring some organization to your home while helping you tidy up. You can incorporate one or a few into your routine and see how well they work for you.
We’re betting that they’ll work wonderfully to help give you a clean home without overwhelming your schedule and leaving you time to play with your kids.